Refugees In The United States
The United States brought 69,930 refugees to safety and new lives in the United States during the 2013 fiscal year, said the U.S. State Department recently. This number is very close to the U.S. Government’s authorized ceiling of 70,000. It demonstrates the commitment of the United States to do its part to help protect the world’s most vulnerable people.
In the 2013 fiscal year, refugees to the United States came from 64 countries. The largest number came from Iraq, almost 20,000, followed by Burma, Bhutan, Somalia and Cuba.
The United States has kept its vow to Iraqi nationals who worked closely with our troops and our government as the number of Iraqi refugee arrivals makes clear -- the largest since the program began in 2007.
The U.S. State Department also pledged to increase Congolese and Syrian refugee arrivals in the coming years, given the rising need in these conflict ridden countries.
Throughout history, many people have fled their homelands to the United States and found new and safe lives here after successfully integrating into our society. In fact, two of the U.S. Secretaries of State, in the period after World War II, came to the United States as refugees: Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright. They both contributed greatly to the advancement of the United States and the rise of freedom in the world.
Another famous refugee was Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize winning physicist, who was forced to flee Germany in 1933 with Hitler’s rise to power.
Under current U.S. laws, to be eligible for consideration for the U.S. Refugee program, an applicant must meet the definition of a refugee: a person outside of his/her country of nationality or outside his/her habitual residence, who is unwilling or unable to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, in 2012 there were more than 45 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide. It demands a worldwide response.
For its part, the United States will continue to live up to its values of reinforcing peace, prosperity and development in the world through its support of refugee resettlement.